This Week in Dance

It's hard to believe it's been a year since Superstorm Sandy terrorized the East Coast. The milestone must be especially surreal for the devastated Jersey Shore communities still feeling the storm's effects.

This interview originally appeared in the October 16 Pointe e-newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.

This month, the Joffrey Ballet presents Stanton Welch's production of La Bayadère for the first time. Pointe's e-news spoke with 22-year-old Jeraldine Mendoza, who will make her debut as Nikiya this Saturday, about learning the ballet.

American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School has come a long way in the short decade since it was founded. So far, in fact, that it's part of a select group of schools invited to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy's celebration of its 240th anniversary.

Story ballets are back. On Monday, when the Joffrey Ballet announced a $500,000 challenge grant from Chicago’s Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation to develop new full-length narrative works, it felt like a tipping point. A company best known in recent decades for its abstract contemporary repertoire, the Joffrey’s new grant steers it toward a different model, and signals that storytelling has returned to the creative mainstream.

As a ballet lover who watches "Breaking Pointe" for the dancing, my heart sank a little when I heard that the title of last night's season finale was "The Story of Us." A whole episode devoted to offstage love stories? Oh, dear. And I was right to be afraid.

What would Giselle be like if she were plopped into the 21st century? Kind of hilarious.

 

David Hallberg has reached unprecedented heights as an American dancer. His switch from jazz to ballet as a teenager, his promotion to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre at the age of 23, his status as the first American star at the Bolshoi Ballet—these milestones were the focus of an hour-long interview with Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser this Saturday.

 

What does Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella look like? Although it's been the focus of the current season of "Breaking Pointe," up until last night's episode, we never actually saw much of the ballet. But we finally got a good dose of stage time this week.

Start off the season on a healthy note this fall: Have some trout, one of the healthiest fish you can include in your diet. It's filled with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and also has low levels of contaminants like mercury. Try this recipe for Baked Trout with Shiitake Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Ginger from National Ballet of Canada principal Sonia Rodriguez.

 

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray

"Breaking Pointe" fans have gotten used to The CW exaggerating Ballet West's backstage drama. Sometimes, the tortured plot lines are simply laughable (that Beckanne-Chase-Zach lover's quarrel, anyone?). But in capturing the company's opening-night anxieties in last night's episode, it was finally spot-on.